The U.S. women’s soccer team was upset by Sweden on penalty kicks, 4-3, following a 1-1 draw in the quarterfinal round of the 2016 Rio Olympic Games in Brazil on Friday. The defending gold medalists had earned no worse than silver in five previous Olympics.
Team USA goalkeeper Hope Solo had a lot to say after the game, though nothing good about Sweden.
“I thought that we played a courageous game. I thought we had many opportunities on goal. I think we showed a lot of heart,” Solo said, according to SI.com’s Grant Wahl. “We came back from a goal down. I’m very proud of this team.”
“And I also think we played a bunch of cowards. The better team did not win today. I strongly believe that. I think you saw American heart. You saw us give everything we had today.”
Solo criticized Sweden for playing conservatively, which the U.S. did under ex-coach Pia Sundhage, now with Sweden.
“Sweden dropped off. They didn’t want to open play. They didn’t want to pass the ball. They didn’t want to play great soccer,” she said. “It was a combative game, a physical game. Exactly what they wanted and exactly what their gameplan was.
“They dropped into a 50. They didn’t try and press. They didn’t want to open the game. And they tried to counter with longballs. We had that style of play when Pia [Sundhage] was our coach.”
“I don’t think they’re going to make it far in the tournament. I think it was very cowardly,” Solo said. “But they won. They’re moving on, and we’re going home.”
This is nothing new for Solo, whose career has been filled with controversy on and off the pitch. One thing’s for sure, Rio is not going to miss Solo. She was booed by fans every time she touched the ball during matches after some controversial Zika tweets.